Trophies? Graham Questions, Wenger Answers

George Graham’s recent comments regarding Arsenal have struck a few chords. In highlighting the failure to win trophies since 2005s FA Cup, Wenger’s predecessor provided an immediate contrast between the pair:

I’ll give you trophies. We’ll take some criticism, but I will give you trophies

Graham did that to an extent but he lost his way, on and off the pitch.

Having delivered the title twice with teams that had the same capabilities as any that Wenger has fielded, he retreated into his shell, the team content to get the ball quickly to Wright and hope that he scored. They knew that once a lead was established, there was a very high percentage in their favour that the back four would not be breached. Except that really only held true until 1993 when an extraordinarily mundane side had their limitations exposed in the league, a position which would only be recovered following Wenger’s appointment.

Recent summers have seen the Frenchman criticised for not strengthening his squad to the level that people would like. In this respect, he and Graham were remarkably similar. Having romped to the title in 1991, Graham did not bring in many new faces immediately afterwards. Wenger does not operate in any different way. Perhaps this is a contributing factor in why neither has retained the league title. It may not be.

Both changed the style of the team’s play in ‘drought’ spells without trophies. It is hard to argue that Graham’s was not the most immediately effective, delivering 3 trophies in two seasons. The functional style of play was an immediate template for clubs such as Bolton; get the ball forward quickly, keep the defence tight and kick anything that moves. It was not nice to watch most of the time yet equally capable of providing rousing nights as any other manner of play.

Yet the period 1992 – 1994 was the most deeply dissatisfying in terms of spectacle and in truth, further away from winning the title than at any period in Wenger’s reign. Inexplicably, Graham changed the tactics of the 1991 side rather than refreshing personnel. Had he done that, his success would have been more entrenched and quite possibly, his transgression forgiven. Whatever the Board of the time may claim, I would asserverate that the paucity of the football was a significant contributing factor in his dismissal.

The inception of the Premier League meant that the sheen of the League Cup was beginning to dull; in truth the mid-1990s were the last time the competition truly held any sway. Perhaps that is a generational thing since the trip to the old Wembley held more aura. Even that was fading following the decision to hold FA Cup semi-finals at the stadium.

The FA Cup is treading the same path, one that is inexorable with the top sides in the country routinely using the competition to field youth and squad players. Wenger has made abundantly clear his priorities:

it depends on what you call trophies. Is it the Champions League, the Premier League, the League Cup? If you win the League Cup you cannot say you win trophies for me. Of course [finishing third is better than winning a domestic cup]. It’s much more difficult.

His position is clear; domestic cups are not important at all, not even as Graham pointed out, in breaking a squad’s trophy duck. It is an entirely continental position to take where domestic cups carry far less importance than the league. Truthfully, he would probably find backing from Ancelotti and Ferguson although both appear to lean towards Graham’s view than Wenger.

It is essentially sets out his manifesto. This squad is focussing on the league, not only winning it but finishing in the top three:

A season in the English league, when you fight with Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Aston Villa, to finish in the top three is still not a disaster. It’s not enough because you want to win trophies. But it doesn’t say: ‘oh what a terrible season that was.’

We’ve just qualified from the group stage in the Champions League for the tenth consecutive season. That is, for me, three times as difficult as winning the League Cup five times. I know what’s difficult and what’s not difficult.

Few would argue with his theory that a top three finish is harder since it requires a level of consistency that cup competitions do not need. Yet winning a trophy is still that, especially for younger players. Had the Carling Cup been won then celebrations would ensue but not to anything like the same degree that would follow a Premier or Champions League, or even the FA Cup.

Graham questioned whether the Premier League could be won playing ‘total football‘, playing in the same manner as Barcelona. It is entirely feasible since they were consistent and that is the key element. The style of play is not irrelevant but allows a team to find that level, it works only if everyone knows their role in the side and what is expected of them. That applies to any style.

Wenger will have caused some rancour with his comments, almost inviting ‘style over substance’ debates. Those who put forward this as evidence will be ignoring a key plank of his comments, winning:

It’s very important that we win something, we’re here to win trophies

Some are more important than others. ’til Tomorrow.

Posted on February 6, 2010, in Arsenal, Champions League, FA Cup, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 137 Comments.

  1. Kamaan you GUNNERs

  2. I pissed people a little with my posts last week, but I’m with you here, YW.

  3. IMO, better Denmark in ’84 than Greece in ’04.

    Better to lose 4-2 than 1-0.

  4. Always a quality post Yogi.

    I think that the FA cup remains a top competition. A final to look forward to would be lovely. However, the manager doesn’t seem to rate it as a priority.

    I think the team he played against Stoke should have won, we certainly looked the side who would with 20 minutes to go.

    It is more an indictment of the players than team selection that we are out. In hindsight, naivety on the break is a recurrent problem that if we cannot fix will cost us other competitions also.

  5. “asserverate”, my, that’s a big word for a blogger.

  6. What’s that, Consolsbob? More depraved details about John Terry?

  7. Wenger has already started his usual way of preparing excuses for not winning anything again. That’s a li’l dichotomy in the statements he’s coming up with nowadays.

    He says he believes in this team, its quality and mental resolve etc etc and then tries a last ditch effort to sign a striker on the last day of the transfer window when he already made a statement in the dot com denying any chance (not even close) of bringing any new body. He won’t name him though.

    At the beginning of the season he claimed to be definite about winning a trophy this season, which is gradually getting out of the reach and with that his very familiar excuses. Against Chelsea he claimed that his team has a new found belief and maturity and we all know what happened next.

    Desperation is certainly creeping in, that’s for sure. Whether it is good or bad for the team, only time will tell.

  8. Just so you know, pz, consolslel read last nights thread while I was out and about, in a manner of speaking. She is now demanding to know how everybody else seems to know about me and, ahem, ‘that slut’, yet she remains in ignorance.

    I am trying to persuade her that Vanessa is only the name of one of the new Scots Greys. This could be a difficult day.

  9. Just so long as you haven’t asserverated her, Consolsbob!

  10. TEAM SELECTION MOST OF THE TIME IS TO BE BLAMED.ARSENE WENGER DOESNT ALWAYS PUT THE BEST ELEVEN OUT.THE BEST ELEVEN IN MY ‘OPINION’ AND I SAY AGAIN ‘MY OPINION’ DENILSON DOESNT BELONG IN AN ARSENAL BEST ELEVEN.IM NOT EVEN SURE HE SHOULD BE AT THE CLUB.I KNOW SOME PEOPLE MIGHT SAY HE’S ONLY ONE PLAYER BUT HE DISTURBS OUR PLAY TRMENDOUSLY. WITH A LACK OF PACE,AWFUL ATEMPT OF DEFENDING,LACK OF CREATIVITY,LAZINESS AND LACK OF AWARENESS OF TIME AND SPACE.ALSO ARSENE WENGER’S TIME OF SUBSTITUTION IS TERRIBLE.

  11. Only just had the time to read back through the comments from the last few days.

    I still think that people on the net have a propensity to over-state the significance of blog opinion. Support for the club is excellent, if a little quite at the stadium.

    The people who live in the borough are extremely dedicated. That is the soul of the club.

  12. Anyone else seen this?

    http://www.forceforgood.com/Articles/The-Football-Fans-Stewardship-Scorecard-%E2%80%93-Provisional-Rankings-433/1.aspx#edn1

    I wonder what they mean by passion? You’d think that Chelsea would score very highly there.

  13. Shayne stop shouting

  14. Hey guys…i apologize for my behavior towards DAVE yesterday…just thought he needed a taste of his own medicine.

    PEOPLE NEED TO REALIZE THAT TYPING IN CAPS DOES NOT MAKE FUTILE RAMBLINGS SEEM MORE INTELLIGENT OR PASSIONATE OR WHAT EVER THE F**K

  15. Is there a font called ‘daubed in shit with a finger on a wall periodically licking it to maintain stickiness’? If so perhaps people like Shayne could use it.

  16. @ BluntGunner….so what do u want to do?? Stop supporting the team?

  17. Ponce !!!!………….Perfume Ponce !!!!!!!!

  18. @Arseman
    No. If would have long back, if I wished to. But I don’t support the club to score points over neighbours and friends. It’s more than that.

    That is why I’m here to discuss the issues that we’re having with the club, with people who I feel does feel exactly the same towards the club and probably more than I do.

  19. ALL THE COMMENTS I MADE ARE ‘MY OPINION’.I THINK PAYING MY MONEY WEEK IN WEEK OUT TO GO WATCH ARSENAL PLAY,HOME AND AWAY GIVES ME THE RIGHT TO VOICE MY OPINION.

  20. hahaha….frank

    How essential is Diaby going to be if hes involved on sunday?
    Im sure hes looking to continue his amazing form and i have a feeling hes not going to take long to get into his stride.

    Bendtner looked sluggish against the Mancs ( i have total sympathy for him though) poor chap comes back from injury with the weight of the world on his shoulders. but he has the confidence…so i hope he gets a chance tomm and makes terry and co. look like idiots.

  21. I agree shayne..no ones stopping u…but if u dont make sense…no one cares either.

  22. arseman…. he likes playing against carvalho thats for sure!

    When Diaby gets in his stride there are fewer more exciting things on the pitch a) for the spectacle b) what it represents and how hard it slaps those doomers in t he mush.

  23. @Arseman.
    No. If would have long back, if I wished to. But I don’t support the club to score points over neighbours and friends. It’s more than that.

    That is why I’m here to discuss the issues that we’re having with the club, with people who I feel does feel exactly the same towards the club and probably more than I do.

  24. that was badly written….i just woke up dang

  25. I have hust watched a replay of how Pool beat MU.I wonder whether AW watches videos of matches his gunners are going to play against.Then he can get a few ideas. maybe he watches and thinks he has his own game plan.
    In the Pool game the mu guys were not given time and space. So time and space is of the utmost importnce against Chelsea.

  26. Arseman and all others, I think like most fans who are dissatisfied is that the team and the management are not really learning from their mistakes.

    Many examples of that.

    1. Results aganist top teams. Similar triangle patterns in the middle of the park for the first 15 mins and then a pasting of 2 goals by the end of the match. Its happened to us in EPL and Champions League.

    2.Human Resources and Team Tactics. While Adebayor we had a plan b, though he was not liked. With him gone and looking at Bendtner, Persie, Rosicky, Walcott injury record, who are a tackle away from a 3 month layoff, we should have planned better. At times, it seems to me that one cant plan this sort of this thing. But looking at no injury records to Ronaldo and Ronney, I am beginning to think that injury resistance can be improved.

    3. Clarity on finances. The club has had increasing revenue and constant costs. So has the transfer money increased or decreased? More clarity on the matter should be shared with the Arsenal Fans.

  27. Ok william,i ll do my best to suppress my pain.

  28. @ bluntgunner….ur post at 10:55am doesn’t seem like a discussion to me mate…if deriding Wenger is your definition of a “discussion” then im sorry..

  29. I’m happy the club stays relatively tight-lipped when it comes to transfer funds.

    http://www.straitstimes.com/BreakingNews/Sport/Story/STIStory_485954.html

  30. Rubbish. Utter rubbish

  31. Deano….love it when our players prove their doubters wrong….there isn’t a better place for a reply than on the pitch.

  32. That was for ‘realist?’

  33. These players need to win a trophy to understand what it takes

    Which player wants to play for 3rd every season and how many fans think that’s showing a lack of ambition

    This is turning into the Emperors New Clothes for some Gooners

  34. Arseman, I think BluntGooner makes some good points. How can you say signings are not the answer and then say you were very very close to signing someone? Of course, the answer is that signings aren’t ALWAYS the answer, but we could really have done with a striker this January – that I think is undeniable. Maybe he tried, maybe he didn’t. Maybe we weren’t actually close to signing anyone at all? I am not saying Wenger is a liar; I am just not sure what he means anymore.

    As far as finishing third and the League Cup goes, well, why can’t we do both? Maybe I am being over-ambitious, and in this day and age no club can fight for four trophies AND have a new stadium. For most of supporting Arsenal is not a choice – at least it’s not for me. I am prepared to wait for our next trophies – and they WILL come – but you must admit, it’s frustrating to see the team so very close to success, and then fail because of what I truly believe is the lack of quality/cover in only 2-3 positions.

  35. @arseman. If you think that everyone has to be in line with your point of view to have a discussion then we got it wrong. What I said in my earlier post was not with the intention to deride or whatever. It was my observation of the last few days, I would like to believe that they are well-documented facts.

    yeah, you can draw a different conclusion altogether and that’s fine. But I feel Wenger is constantly trying to manipulate the supporters with his contradictory statements. If you think that is not the case, then you must have few points to back it up.

  36. Frankly I feel we need a new manager,somebody in the mould of a Hiddink or Mourinho.It’s almost 5 years into Wenger’s youth experiment,the club now requires a winner mentality not a manager content to settle for third or second.While I appreciate all that Wenger has done for the club as manger,he might be best suited serving in the Frank Arnesen role.

  37. I am convinced that Arsenal will win for 4 years in a row, starting next year. They will win 4 EPL titles, 4 Cl’s, 4 FA Cups, and 4 World Club trophies, while having no debt and surplus cash and revenue budget.

    Anyone who does not believe this is a doubter. He does not support the team and should even shudder to call himself an Arsenal supporter. The kind not really needed by any football club……

    I do not know where we finish this season. I am happy about what we have achieved and where we are generally. But one must realize that years of not winning takes a toll even on the hardiest of men. Most of the team is below 22-23 years old. It is just too much pressure for them to manage with.

    That kind of pressure squeezes out the self confidence and leads many sportsmen to failure. Only success is the remedy to it. That is what the best in every profession aspire for.If spending a few million here and there by our so called immense transfer reserves increases the odds of us doing that then maybe we should do so. It does not gurantee things but it does help matters.

    For people who have a convenient and mostly self serving memory, the arrival of Ashravin last year got Arsenal in the Top 4. I remember even at that time, just talking about a new transfer invokes the same kind of negative reaction as it does today.

  38. @ chakravo….thing is we’ll never know…but im sure he tried his hardest to improve our squad in the transfer window…assessing all his options…but can u blame him if he couldnt find someone to fit in with our style of play and our price range?

    Bluntgooner… i honestly dont expect u to be inline with my opinions…but u have to understand this…its a lot easier to support your team and manager when everything is rosy….its harder when things get tough…
    u also have to have some faith…the season isnt over man….its not over till the last kick of the ball..maybe u can give our team a chance till the seasons over…and if ur not happy then…by all means go crazy with your “discussions”.

    and i honestly dont think wenger would try and manipulate us fans…he did say we were going to try to sign someone this transfer window…and he did try…transfers dont always work out….

  39. Arseman, I agree that Wenger is not going to manipulate the fans, and that he tried very hard to get someone in. As far as a striker goes, ya, it’s probably difficult to find someone with our style of play. As far as a fai price goes, I often wonder if Wenger really thinks that Adebayor was worth 25million? But that’s a discussion for another time.
    But I find it very very difficult to believe that we couldn’t find a goalkeeper who has more confidence than Almunia right now. We know that Almunia can be quite an adequate goalkeeper, but to me he looks shot. He looks like he expects to let in goals, and seems miserable playing. Hell, maybe we don’t need new players; maybe we just need a sports psychiatrist and at least 4 extra physios.
    You are right about supporting the team though. It’s just that frustrations are better let out on blogs than at the ground.

  40. Some of you people seem to have lost the joy in watching football….if you ever really had it.

  41. Maybe some lashings for them Frank?

    Just give me the word brother

  42. Exactly Charkravo…..25 Mil seemed like a fair price to Sparky and Man City….thats y they bought ade…but its hard for some people to realize that the transfer market is not like a supermarket….u cant just go out and buy players like milk and cookies…
    u have to work day and night to find a player that suits your system and fits your price…and unless ur a free spending club like real or man city…its hard to find the right player for the right price.

    As for almunia…its a mystery where his form has disappeared. ..and as of now…it seems like arsene wants him to play trough his rough patch…and ur right…maybe he needs someone to talk some confidence into his silly little head.

    and i know frustrations are better let out on blogs rather than at the grounds….but u also need to have some perspective man….u have to stand by ur team…imagine the plight of the pompey supporters….

  43. Seems to me that the lack of joy is to be pitied…it is a shame.

  44. Football can be magical…not talking about football. Football. But only if you have eyes to see it.

  45. Arseman, I’m not saying that Wenger manipulates fans, cos its silly, but when someone is highly intelligent they manipulate people naturally without even realising it. All us intellectual types do. Its a tough life partner and you probably dont know this

  46. Chakravo makes an interesting point, our physios. What other top club has approximately 25% of it’s squad out injured every season?
    Is it the pitch? The training ground?
    I don’t get it. I kinda hoped we’d buy a keeper in the transfer window, or a new goalkeeping coach. Denilson etc I’m happy to wait for, but Manuels a liability who the team have carried for a while. Would be nice to relieve the back 4 of the pressure of carrying a dodgy Championship keeper and buy a Lloris, Akinfeev etc. Blimey, Jaaskelinen couldve been poached a season ago for free!

  47. If the media truly understood the magic of football they would not dare superimpose commentators upon a live game on TV. They would just allow the viewer to watch the game with the sounds of the game. Instead they yadder away over the top of the game. In other words their voices are more important than the game. It is almost as though the marketable product is not actually football at all…it is talking about football. In the main talking shit about football.

  48. sorry William….i did not know u were bluntgooner in disguise….my bad brother…

  49. Arseman would you like me to talk Frank into giving Bluntgooner some lashings?

    I ahev an influence with Frank, he listens to me dog

  50. The simplist explanation is that our players are technically very good and in the EPL that means that you get injured. When RvP injured his ankle there were closeups of him lying on the ground. The scars from old injuries around his knees were unbelievable.

  51. For the Arsenal team that will lose to Chelsea we hope that you win. The fact is that the club likes its players and supporters are just a scared lot.

    Man utd like Liverpool like real madrid like ac milan are used to success. Financially we maybe in difficulty but it has large number of fans who are successful and committed enough to run it like a barcelona system.

    The thing is fans of clubs that have had success become like their clubs. Strong, confident and successful.

    No excuses of the filmsy kind. All the reasons for the lack of success are all filmsy. The supporters and writers here are a scared lot. They would rather be conservative rather then give it take the risk of improving themselves and taking on more pressure.

    I guess that is the reason why Man Ut’ds and Liverpool have a European Pedigree and Arsenal just does’nt have that.

    Just enjoy riling tottenham. that is more your cup of tea.

  52. Another point is that technical players turn more under pressure. The stress on ligaments, tendons and joints is much higher for technical players than….oafs.

  53. no william…because that would mean giving u a lashing….n i wouldnt want that brother coz..u know…ur my bro…my homie…my man without a plan…

  54. Sadly the Mancs business plan is unsustainable so they won’t be around for too much longer.

  55. Arseman, and you know this

  56. Ah well. Never mind.

  57. But Frank you know an Investor will save them, theres too much money to be made with them

  58. fo sho…killa…

  59. Who invited Man u rocks?
    So the team haven’t won a Champions league because the “fans are scared”?
    I’m confused by that comment, Man u etc have had success purely by playing on the past and splashing the cash! Look at Notts forest, are there fans cowards too? Twat!

  60. Absolutely spot on with the lack of joy in these people Frank. Football is meant to be exciting and a pleasure. These people turn it into drudgery. Their joy confined to simple victory only. Tinsel and glitter.

    Not for them the satisfaction of watching a season unfold and a team develop.

    They are really dull. I’d feel sorry for them if I didn’t feel contempt.

  61. @ man u rocks

    yo…u betta check yo self befo u wreck yo self..

  62. Arseman, I will be supporting the men in red come Sunday with all my heart and – just for you Frank – I will be doing it with a huge smile on my face.

    But I reserve my right to be frustrated. You know, it’s like watching your best friend – who is a great guy – go out on a date and you know he has smelly socks, but he won’t get new ones, and then he comes back and says, “Nope. I didn’t do good”. He’s still a great guy, just goddam stubborn.

  63. I made a comment late yesterday about the strategy of the club that was buried under the pep pills and cans of red bull. Here it is;

    Staying competitive is what modern sports about. The youth policy is just a strategy – it’s not anything about the manager’s fetishism. Every organisation builds a strategic plan in times of change and that’s the way Arsenal have gone to keep themselves competitive in the future.

    It’s not just about buying the best youngsters – it’s getting them early, keeping them and building a culture of success around them (and selling a few for a profit, mind you but having the back up to take over). They realised transfers will be more expensive so essentially became first movers while wages will become more important.

    The way many of the first team have signed up for long term contracts allows the strategy to be fulfilled – plus they are making a profit too and Wenger’s the key, obviously.

    http://arsenalcolumn.wordpress.com/2010/01/07/arsene-wenger-planning-to-keep-it-in-the-family/

  64. ARSENAL…Arsenal….arsenal…Arsenal…ARSENAL!!!

    That is all…

  65. Well Graham can’t be faulted for what he said. But then Arsene has himself delivered on that front. This squad needs a strond temperament more than anything to finish small teams, & compete against the bigger ones. Also big players are always welcome. It’s a shame, Arsene is being pulled into all this despite his contribution to the Arsenal.

    http://11gunners.com/opinion/6-must-do%E2%80%99s-as-arsenal-await-another-6-pointer/3063/

  66. @ chakravo…I love your analogy…but…what if….just what if your friend finds someone who likes smelly socks?…

  67. im sorry…chakravo…seems that work has finally driven me loony…

  68. http://www.football365.com/story/0,17033,8652_5921217,00.html

    In Brief…

    “Chamakh has now confirmed that he wants to move to the Emirates.

    “My future? Well, I hold all the cards, I have no reason to be under pressure but everyday passing by, I am a little less a Bordeaux player,” he revealed.

    “My choice is to join Premier League and if I could choose, I will go to Arsenal.”

  69. the blog from the brain should be read by all gooners.

  70. ….And all crack heads

  71. Brain stop trying to steel Yogi’s clients dog, you’re worse then Darius Stone

  72. Haha, Arseman, maybe that’s what Wenger means by someone who fits our system?
    Have fun guys, duty calls, and tomorrow we conquer London!

  73. William – there is no exclusivity contract for writing about Arsenal.

    HTH

  74. Stringfellow Hawke, your blog is shit

  75. hold on while i go have a cry.

  76. stringy stringy string….dringy dringy dring….
    hawkey hawkey hawke….thats exactly y ur an arsenal fan too

  77. Put the thesaurus away and work on some original opinions; it’s like diamonds in dogshit.

  78. an arsenal fan who has a blog…but seems to prefer this blog over his own blog…cmooon admit it…u know u do

  79. Do any of you guys get out… much? 😆

  80. stringfellowhawke….whats yo point? just because we have a little time in between work to check out this blog and not waste time reading shite like yours doesnt mean we dont get out…

    I bet u sit at home all day…refreshing ur blog page…hoping someone comments/notices…doesnt mean we all do

  81. sure 😆

    here’s looking at you kid

  82. ohh…stringfellow…u crack me up like no other could…except maybe..william

  83. what it really take much effort.. considering etc

  84. Stringfellow, I have been on many many blogs and I must say yours takes the cake for being shit.

  85. is that honestly the best you can do, bill?

    oh and btw… is your dad harder than my dad?

    😆 this is cruelty, but i luv it.

  86. ‘Hawke Rant’? ‘Hawke rant’?

    Its sounds like an STD.

    ‘Stay away from her lads, she give me hawk rant the last time I went there’

  87. Stringfellow I’m only being a knob your siite looks good I respect anyone who takes the time to write a blog, I mean that as well

  88. enjoy the weekend lads… its gonna be mighty interesting. 😉

  89. stringfellowhawke is on here because no ones on his blog…people…give the lad a break…rejection is a tough pill to swallow

  90. arseman – my blog is just my personal ranting.. nothing special

    just a sound board.

    how i get over 2000 hits a week without being on newsnow or even posting regular is beyond me.

    nice to recieve emails from other gooners with similar views.

    and also nice to read the seeth fest from so called fans raving against said rants.

    its all good fun, not the real world, but fun.

  91. im extremely happy for u…

  92. you can even hear my dolcid tones on Arsenal TV later this month.

  93. so now that we’re over that little bump…..what starting line up would like to see out there tomorrow?

  94. Fabinski

    Sagna Vermy Gallas Clichy

    Song

    Cesc Diaby/Nasri

    Rosicky Bendy Arshavin

    you?

  95. The FA Cup is a massive competition….in terms of sport.

    In the past, only champions competed in the European Cup. Now, 4 teams do so.

    1 single game in the Champions League brings more revenue than a good cup run.

    Despite the large squads all teams from 1st place to 18th position in the league now have, it is very hard to go for all 4 competitions. You have to prioritise.

    The truth is, it has become much harder to finish in the Top 4 than to win both cups together.

    This isn’t difficult to judge or understand. Juande Ramos won the spuds the Toy Cup and was fired months later when their league form threatened the tinies with relegation.

    The value of finishing in the Top 4 is to be seen in the how much the likes of Tottenscum, Aston Villa, Man City have spent trying to get that goal.

    I am however still very unhappy we had to throw the FA Cup this season. I know that injuries and the run of fixtures made it hard for the manager. But it’s still deeply disappointing.

  96. Id go with the same…just hope Diaby is fit!

  97. mmm…..yes….. I like the team but maybe replace Bendtner with the Dickov

  98. Where’s Maria?

  99. totally agreed, diaby’s fitness is huge

    but song needs to be on his game, we need him to protect the back four with vigour and get into drogba.

    that will allow cesc to run things without that nuisance essien breaking things down.

    essien is always the player that wins the games for chelski against us.. he alone stops us from ticking.

    they will miss him tommorow like no other game.

  100. Stringfellow its Drogba you should be worrying about partner

  101. He is an obvious danger, but our team is set up to play the … you score 3, we score 4

    so the way our attack ticks is hugely important to the result.

    lets be honest, our defence is never going to be the best, but our attack certainly can.

  102. im inclined to agree with that stringfellow.

    Essien is Immense for Chelsea against the bigger teams.

    As is, and it kills me to say this, one a.hole in recent games has realy looked like making chelsea tick.

  103. credit to the academy as a footballer….shame about the man.

  104. Young gibbs has the exact same potential as him.

    The parralles in the way they both play(ed) at the age Gibbs is now are uncanny.

  105. fucking hell everton have lost just about all their good players for chelsea.

  106. No Fabianski please. He’s worse than the Spanish clown. Play our future No 2 Mannone.
    Least he commands his area…

  107. By: Stringfellow Hawke on February 6, 2010
    at 2:44 pm

    gibbs looks to be more of the complete player at the same age.

    better composure, technique, balance, better baller(pass n move, skills) and very strong in the challenge. Cashley was a better defender at the same age but he had that famous back 4 influence.
    Also gibbs plays more positions, left back, centre/left mid, left wing, 2nd striker.
    its been said that he is better through the middle.

    I think he can go a long long way. Troare reminds me more of cashley though (obviously not as good a defender but similar going forward)

  108. Pienaar getting sent off for a nothing challenge while Gerrard gets away with a two footed lunge.

    The doomers are out in force today huh? The complaints seem petulant and petty as always. Face it doomers. Arsene isn’t going anywhere. Your silly arguments fall on deaf ears. If you get this bent out of shape when the team is six points off the top with a real possibility of being back in it, I shudder to think what you’ll do if we end up somewhere mid table like Liverpool.

    If you don’t like what Wenger’s doing then don’t go to the stadium. I’m sure there are at least ten people who’d love to take your place. You arrogant cunts seem to think that the team revolves around you. It doesn’t. So fuck off and go live your miserable lives elsewhere. You sick fucks deserve your negative little lots in life. You’re losers and fatalists.

  109. The humble doomer (Twattus Britannicus) is a common internet pest. Contrary to popular belief, they are not restricted to football, but enjoy a varied diet, often being found, for example, on Amazon writing irate reviews of books they have evidently never read.

  110. Junoir Mervin. Police & Thieves is beautiful, but I’m thinking, what with all the Chav$, and wannabe Chav$ trolling this board, if this is more appropriate:

    (the earlier song was probably bearable PZ, there’ll be too many lyrics in this…)

  111. The instrumental version.

  112. portsmouth anyone?

  113. So, no shock from Portsmouth then. If they keep it 1-0 you never know. Come on Pompey make my day.

  114. Dear oh dear, Pompey you are shit.

  115. Man Poo just gone 2-0 in front. Only to be expected really……….

  116. I think i would only fully realise how important finishing in the top four was when watching a Stephen Segal film on a Thursday on Channel 5 after seeing Arsenal beat some Unprnouncable Romanian team. Nobody wants that do they?

  117. Playing so many matches in one season is the cause of players breaking down. Futebol takes a huge toll on ones body. 40 EPL matches, add to this Champions league play, FA Cup, Carling Cup, and world cup friendlies and world cup are you are looking 100 matches or more for some of the top clubs and players. The younger players need to play in these cups if not players will break down even more.
    Wenger is refreshing Arsenal with younger players. This is the key. Bringing in high priced free agents does not guarentee a title. Wenger is building the house right. It all begins with a storng foundation. Yet we are in a win it now mentality. Instant everything. Life doesn’t work that way. This is my two cents.
    http://bobbygee.wordpress.com/

  118. what a screamer by boateng

  119. paddy on for city

  120. By: Poliziano on February 6, 2010
    at 3:26 pm

    doomers also exagerate the point so much it actually turns into a fictional point.

    e.g we havent won a trophy in 5 yrs, wenger only signs kids, wenger doesnt like english players, wengers a c*nt said he was going to buy……(any name linked to arsenal thru the media), we could have walked the league this yr(on what basis) etc etc etc

  121. pompey are atrocious. when was the last time we had three OGs in one premiership game?

  122. Really? ESPN would rather show a workout informercial and a low-rated college basketball game over Spurs v Villa?

  123. is it too early to talk score predictions for tomorow?

  124. Not sure why I’m watching the Spurs v Villa game, but I’m glad to see MON’s passing game in full flow again.

  125. That was an excellent save by Friedel. Almunia is capable of that…and a lot more. It’s frustrating.

  126. a new dawn..

  127. I can see us getting a draw at the Brige (1-1)tomorrow and beating Liverpool. When you look at Utd’s and Chelsea’s fixtures for next week those results would put us in a great position to lift the premiership trophy come may.

    Come on you rip roaring gunners!

  128. If Wenger wants to give an old player a few years contract it should be Boateng. He was fantastic at Boro and he still fights for ninety minutes despite being in his 30’s. That way no yoots are displaced and he can cover for Alex Song.

    Poli, that Twattus Brittannicus bit has me in stitches.

  129. I thought i knew about football..
    But i thought man utd were shite.
    seems everything i knew about football was wrong.
    unless im wrong.

  130. Crap. Under 30 inches of snow here in Maryland. No power since midday. Probably no chance of seeing is best Chelsea.

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